Is Money Your Motivation for a Career Change?

Happy Book Review Tuesday! Today is our final week of talking about Alexandra Levit’s new book, “New Job, New You.“

Money. A dirty word for some, a motivator for most. If you think money is a dirty word, you’re probably reading the wrong blog.

Despite the ongoing debate about money being the root of all evil, it can also be the root of opportunities, education, living debt-free and helping others.

Is Money Your Motivation for Career change?

Consider the following questions which are taken right from New Job, New You.

  • Have you been told that there just isn’t any money in your field anymore?
  • Does the foreseeable trajectory for your career make it impossible to meet your long-term financial goals?
  • Has your salary hovered in the same range for three to five years?
  • Do you work fifty-plus hours a week, but find that you’re still struggling to make ends meet?
  • Do you find yourself constantly in debt because you are spending much more than you earn?
  • Does your current career fail to offer you a means to save for your future, especially retirement?

If you answered “Yes” to many of these questions, you may be ready for a new career path.

How do I get on a new career path?!

  1. Take a hard look at your financial situation. Determine what more you would need and if you have the means to survive a career transition.
  2. Write down 3 industries you are interested in working in that have high income potential.
  3. Network with/meet two successful people in these industries and ask them to lunch or coffee. Ask away- positives, negatives, tips, transition advice, how to succeed in the industry, etc.
  4. Write down action steps you need to take which will lead to eventually doubling your income. Put them somewhere you can see them, look at them often!

Once you do your research, here are a few of Alexandra Levit’s suggestions for next steps:

  1. Get out of debt! Why? Because it’s hard to get ahead in any career when you are drowning in debt. Levit recommends that you stop accumulating new debt, stop recurring payments (for example gym memberships, netflix, online gaming accounts) and establish an emergency fund starting with $1,000.
  2. Choose a lucrative field. Check out for lots of information on different fields.  Despite common beliefs, not all high paying jobs are miserable!  Also, sales can be one of the most profitable careers but beware of shady commission structures and false promises.
  3. Consider relocation. Levit recommends considering a more affordable city.  For example, your money will stretch much further in Atlanta and Dallas than it will in New York City or San Francisco.  If you’re set on big city living, consider downsizing to a more affordable place.
  4. Start a side business. This is obviously my favorite of the four.  Not only can a small side business eventually turn into a full-time gig, it serves as career insurance if you are laid off.  It may also be something fun that gets you excited outside of your day job.  If you’re not sure what business to get into, start by going to and check out freelance projects people are looking to hire for.  It may spark ideas of matching your skills with other peoples needs.
  5. You should probably read New Job, New You. That’s where all this advice came from.  I have a feeling it will clear your confusion and get you started on a new path.

Recommended Books

Today’s post is sponsored by Walden University: get an online degree to further your career.

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.